4/15/2010

School Budget Passed

Posted by MJ

The School Budget was passed for public vote. The Buffalo News and the LUSJ reported.

The Lockport School Board on Wednesday night voted 6-3 to adopt the proposed $77 million 2010-11 budget.
The plan includes no increase to expenditures, with a 10 percent increase to the tax levy. But Superintendent Terry Anne Carbone called the 10 percent increase “not good,” and said the board is ultimately aiming for a 7 percent tax levy increase.
 -----------------------
Superintendent Terry Ann Carbone and Assistant Superintendent of Finance Deborah Coder presented the budget Wednesday to a partially filled Lockport High School auditorium. The budget contains no increase in spending from the current school year, but the $2.1 million increase in the tax levy could raise the property tax rate to $23.99 per $1,000 of assessed land value. Currently, with the tax levy revenue at about $30 million, the rate is about $22.42 per $1,000 of assessed land value.

We have moved from "zero tax increase" of years past (thanks to the state?) to the land of "zero increase in expenditures" but with an increase in taxes (thanks to the state?) While it is nice to see the expenditure freeze in a year of economic hardship, where was it in the past two years of economic hardship?

Other school districts have made concessions from the top on down. Is completely hacking off programs/etc the best way (only way?) to adjust costs?

5 comments:

Rocketboy said...

Wow, it's just sooo amazing how other school districts can do things w/o tax increases...

http://www.buffalonews.com/2010/04/09/1013818/falls-school-budget-adopted-no.html

"NIAGARA FALLS — For the 17th consecutive year, the School Board has adopted a budget proposal with no increase in the tax levy."

It's sad when we look at Niagara Falls and realize that they are doing (at least this one thing) better than us.

Or even worse, New Jersey:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303828304575180270979668714.html

"The real question is, who’s for the kids, and who’s for their raises? This isn’t about the kids. Let’s dispense with that portion of the argument. Don’t let them tell you that ever again while they are reaching into your pockets."

[/\-My new favorite quote ever.]

"The special interests have already begun to scream their favorite word—which, coincidentally, is my 9-year-old son’s favorite word when we are making him do something he knows is right but does not want to do—’unfair'. "

Anonymous said...

C'mon Rocket you are usually good but as far as Niagara Falls you missed a little here - check ut the whole story
"In order to avoid an increase in the tax levy for the 2010-11 school year, the board voted to use $2 million from this year’s fund balance, sometimes referred to informally as a “surplus.” That action would leave about $1.7 million in the fund balance for emergencies.

The proposed budget also relies on a modest increase in state financial aid, beyond the aid recommended by Gov. David A. Paterson. The State Legislature customarily increases the amount of aid to schools.

School Business Administrator Timothy J. Hyland said the governor has proposed $90.9 million in aid to Niagara Falls schools for the 2010-11 school year. Hyland estimated that the Legislature would increase that amount by about $1.7 million, although that has yet to be enacted.

Hyland also estimated that additional federal funding would amount to $1.1 million.

In case those figures do not materialize, he prepared three other budget plans that could be adopted. In the worst-case scenario, he said a reduction of 84 staff positions and other economies would be needed to close a $6.4 million budget gap.

All seven members of the nine-member board attending Thursday’s meeting voted in favor of his first-choice budget, calling for no layoffs of staff. However, Bianco said the staff probably would be reduced by about 25 employees through attrition. "

So they are using $2m in reserve funds putting themselves I would think dangerously low at $1.7M for a district that size, plus they are counting on $1.7 M more than the state has promised them plus another $1.1 M from the feds.

To me, that doesn't sound like responsible budgeting!

Rocketboy said...

Wow, someone said I was actually sometimes good...

Oh wait, there's more to read?

:)

The reliance on proposed increases are how the school budgets work normally, so that's not a surprise.

Reserves are exactly what for this type of situation, if not now, then when? Only for pet projects?

The way they have budgeted is that even if the increases don't go through, they are STILL not going to raise taxes, and instead, take the hit themselves, not by passing it on as a tax increase.

If revenue is down (which it is), schools (and gov'ts in general) need to tighten their belt.

If the number of students in the system are down (which it is), schools need to cut.

Anything less is irresponsible, and is what the private sector is forced to do.

But the New Jersey link, was that was still good?

MJ said...

Lockport for the past few years has had the same "zero tax increase" because of increased state funding. This year it is also dipping into the rainy day fund (about half of it) to reduce the tax increase.

The point of the articles linked above was that some districts are actually restructuring the biggest chunk of the budget (labor) instead of just chopping off smaller (and quite possibly very useful) programs, etc.

Letting long term structured costs escalate because more state aid was granted was a mistake. If state funding is turned back to 5 years ago, all costs from the top down better do the same.

Like the state itself, the NYS school system needs to be torn down and rebuilt again. Twice as much money per student (adjusted for inflation)and no improvement in test scores equals an overall broken system. It's not about how much but rather how that money is being spent.

Anonymous said...

Why can't they get it? GREEEEEED!!!!

Post a Comment

Please be be respectful. Diverse opinions are welcome and encouraged. Trolling/baiting/personal attacks/spam will be deleted on sight, as will respnding to one that has yet to be deleted. Do not encourage the behavior.